Perceived alteration by the customer and consumer of the aroma profile in dry kibbled cat food using odor masking agents
Powell, Caitlin S.
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In the pet food industry, at times products are described as having a fishy or intense aroma. To appeal to the pet owner, the customer, it is desirable to control aroma in pet food products. In this study, three masking agents, compounds "a", "b" and "c" were put in the digest (flavor and fat externally added to food) and coated on the kibble during the enrobing process, as well as added to the internal fat in the extrusion process. With both processes a reduction in intensity of specific aroma compounds was detected by a Chern Sensor which utilizes mass spectrometry (MS) as a detector. All diet samples were also evaluated by a human sensory panel and fed to nineteen cats in a palatability test. The human sensory panel was unable to detect a significant difference. The cats were unable to detect a difference between the samples with masking agents and the control. Thus although compounds "a," "b," and "c" are able to alter the aroma profile of dry cat food, it is not noticeable enough. Ultimately more research must be done to determine if the masking agents could be used to create a product where a customer will notice a difference in the odor without having the original product for comparison.